Life's Tool Box – A Guide for Parents and Educators

May 6, 2011

Flying High – For My Mom and All Mothers on Mother’s Day

Filed under: Tools for Life Posts,Uncategorized — by Life's Toolbox @ 7:26 pm
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      Imagine this scene.  My husband and I board the airplane for a vacation the same week that most schools are closed for the Spring holidays.  As we find our seats across the aisle from each other, a father with two small children arrives at my row.  He installs the 5 and 6 year old in the window and middle seat next to me, says “they’ll be fine” and takes a seat in the row in front.  I assumed he was travelling alone, but his wife arrived a few minutes later, scolded him for the foolish idea that two youngsters could sit unattended, and rearranged the children so that each sat with one parent.  When the seating was completed, I was fortunate to have this smart Mom and her adorable 5 year old sharing my row.

      I don’t always count myself fortunate to have a young child nearby on an airplane.  The flight was at 6 am, and we had been up since 3:30, so I was hoping for a quiet, sleep filled flight.  This charming young man engaged his sister in the row in front of him in fairly constant chatter while the plane taxied.  When the plane picked up speed down the runway, so did his talking, and almost breathless he said, “we’re going faster and faster, wow, we’re really speeding”.  And at the moment when the wheels lifted from the ground he stated the obvious, with the most remarkable glee . . . “we’re flying!” he screamed, his unbridled joy was contagious.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  He narrated, with equal enthusiasm and awestruck amazement, the cars on the ground getting smaller, the ride through blue skies and white clouds.  I looked over at his Mom, who beamed at his exuberance, which she said was not atypical for him.

      The plane leveled off, the chatter slowed, and eventually Mom, son, and I all slept.  My husband and I changed planes, and flew on, with less exciting seat partners.  But as that second plane took off, I could hear in my head, in that moment of wheels up, a five year old’s voice triumphantly exclaim . . . we’re flying!

      Being a mother takes all kinds of moments.  There are times of sadness and worry, days, months, and years of hard work and long hours.  And there are moments, miraculous moments where we feel we’re flying, we’re soaring, we are above and beyond anything we ever thought life could offer.  These moments of transcendence can come with the grandeur of a child’s first steps, or on a seemingly insignificant routine plane trip.  They are there, amidst the laundry, homework, and skinned knees.   They are there, among the painful break-ups, ER visits, and college rejections.  The small hassles and major traumas of child rearing are inescapable, but juxtaposed with them are small and large delights, some obvious, others that we need to be open to notice and enjoy.

      I have no doubt that I am the mother I am in large part because of the mother I have and the children I have been gifted with.  I have been blessed with children who often make me feel, with great joy, gratitude and amazement, that I’m flying.  And I am blessed with a mother who helped me grow a heart that knows how to take flight and soar.

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Flying To All!



  1. Amazing and moving! Keep it up! -Elihu

    Comment by Elihu — May 6, 2011 @ 9:22 pm |Reply

  2. what a wonderful approach to day-to-day life! thank you for sharing the story and happy mother’s day.

    Comment by shari reiss — May 8, 2011 @ 11:20 am |Reply

  3. What a wonderful way to view being a mother. I could not agree more! Thank you for your always wonderful way of looking at the world and your wise and witty thoughts. Happy Mother’s Day!

    Comment by Sara — May 8, 2011 @ 6:14 pm |Reply

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